Interview With Rahul Shastri : Founder Of Tōramally.
Q.Tell us About your Struggle & Success story.
A. Always knew that I had to start something of my own and also knew that that something is going to be around Shoes. But had no clue how / what and when and I think it’s just about the right time god paves your way.
I got my inspiration form a gemstone. “tourmaline” a gemstone that turned my world around I came in contact with it while working on a Jewellery line during my last job. It’s available in various color, peculiar thing about this stone is that it always has a blackish shade to it which according to me gives this particular stone more character than any other colored gemstone. That’s how it began!
The biggest challenge was to fix look for people who can make leather Sole Shoes as it’s nearly a dead craft in India. But finally, we managed to start with a 75-years old guy.
India is a very complex market in terms of fashion. I was worried thinking about the outcome when we first did Lakme it was an eye-opener. One of my friends suggested me to just let it go and do not expect anything and give my best shot.
Lakme went ok but I wasn’t very happy with the outcome. I did my best and had put in all my efforts to make something stand in front of people and expected it to do well!
2-3 months in business we were covered by some international magazines and also by one of the best Shoe bloggers in the world making us the only Shoe brand from India to be on the blog. It gave us a good thrust and within a month we started getting calls from across the globe.
We still are small and trying to do our bit. The aim is to make India shine and let people know that even we can produce high-quality luxury footwear!
Q. What is your business into?
A. We are into manufacturing of luxury footwear. We specialize in hand painted and real tattooed shoes for men and women.
Q. Why did you choose to start this specific business?
A. I am a Shoe addict and a leather designer by trait. I felt the scarcity of high quality shoes in India so thought of putting in all my efforts and experience to build something beautiful and something that can help people (Artists and art enthusiasts) get jobs in the area they love and helping them a substantial running income.
Q. How do you manage to stand better and unique in terms of competition?
A. We are a made to order business each of our Shoe is handcrafted and unique in its own way. We are trying to help more and more art enthusiasts to learn and earn. We are not mass manufacturers and that’s what we take pride in unlike our competitors we deliver the shoes with a personal touch. The brush strokes on our products and the mirror shine on our toes say a lot about us and how grounded we are. We are trying to re generate jobs which where killed and degraded by the machines.
Q.From whom you got inspired for this profession?
A. People who inspired me the most are:
– Mr. Alexander Mcqeen – His thought process and vision.
– Mr. Sabyasachi Mukherjee – His way of working and the amount of effort he puts in each of his garments it’s phenomenal. I don’t think anyone in the industry puts that level of effort in each their creations. I worship him as an idol he is true “God of Indian fashion”
– Mr. Vikram Aditya jain also my mentor – His ideology, he is a person who settles for nothing but perfection.
What are further plans for growth of the business?
A. We are currently aiming at expanding in India and abroad. We are planning to train more people to increase our work force. We are making our international client base stronger. It gives us immense pleasure to realise that we are on the right track and when our European clients say these kind of hand painted and tattooed shoes are really hard to find, never expected to find it in India.
How you will advise today’s youth generation about this designing profession ?
A.It’s the best profession if you feel the bent.
Try and make as many mistakes as you can when you are at design school. You are there to make mistakes and learn.